Heartworms are parasites that can live and reproduce in your pet’s bloodstream. Signs your pet has heartworm include coughing, weakness, weight loss and a loss of stamina. These are serious symptoms. If left undetected for too long, your pet could develop heart disease or lung failure that can impact their quality of life. What’s best is to have your pet tested regularly whether you suspect they’re infected or not. The sooner we’re able to diagnose your pet, the faster we can remove the heartworms from their system and ensure they stay worm-free. To get your pet tested, book an appointment by calling us at 250.598.4477.
How can I prevent my pet from being infected by heartworm?
We have an extensive parasite control and prevention process to protect your pet from infection. Through regular veterinary exams, blood testing and preventative medication, we can keep your pet’s internal systems clear of heartworms. If they were to contract heartworms, we’ll be able to remove them from your dog’s system as soon as they’re detected. Unfortunately, this does not apply for cats. In their cases, prevention is the best option.
What happens to my cat if they contract heartworm?
Heartworm in cats is harder to detect because many worms don’t live long enough to develop into adults. As a result, a specific blood test is conducted to show signs of parasites. We use antigens and antibodies to search for larvae. We can also do X-rays to reveal specks of heartworms. Following their diagnosis, we suggest pet owners increase their veterinary visits to monitor their cat’s health. Heartworms can move through the bloodstream and into other parts of a cat’s body, such as their brain and lungs. This can lead to organ damage and respiratory issues. Staying vigilant with their preventative medication will protect them from further exposure or worsening their condition.
What does heartworm preventative medication do?
Preventative medication teaches your pet’s immune system how to kill heartworms upon arrival. It needs to be administered monthly through tablets or topically. This is especially important if you live near a wooded area where mosquitoes are more prevalent. Summer is an extremely vulnerable time of the year. Many dogs have been known to be repeatedly exposed to heartworms through multiple bites. This can lead to large internal infestations, long-term organ damage, and even death.